(posted by Will)
A lisping Big Ben reminds me that time is passing, and I can feel it. My weight won’t go down. My sensible side parting has returned. Staying in is becoming more attractive than going out. Circumstances have replaced my hi-tech mobile phone – the sort that can launch nuclear missiles with making calls as optional extra – with a brick that can do little more than send texts and is so 2002.
Is 26 too early to have a mid-life crisis?
There was a time when I’d always be in the first few rows of a gig, bouncing up and down, hoping that my specs wouldn’t fall off during a particularly vigorous number. Two years ago I went to a gig at the Brixton Academy and tried the same; halfway through I was so exhausted I had to go to the back and lean against a wall.
Last year, I went to a concert gig and leant against the bar throughout. And as if that didn’t make me feel old enough, both bands – stars of the 1995/6 glory days of indie music – then split up.
Age could be a good thing. A few grey hairs might lend me the look of a debonair executive – if I can work out how to stop slouching. A middle-aged smart-casual look might give be an air of quiet authority. And bit of ageing to my voice – ideally lower and more gravelly – would make me more assertive.
That would be a nice change. If there’s something I don’t like about me when I see myself on TV, it’s my voice. Oh, and my stomach. And my chubby arms. (Mental note: if going on TV, wear a long-sleeved shirt.) OK, if there’s something I don’t like about me when I hear myself on the radio, it’s my voice.
In retrospect, maybe I’m not exhibiting any of the outward sounds of a midlife crisis. I haven’t started wearing skinny tops that unwelcomingly show off my paunch. I’ve not started learning Greek “just in case”. I haven’t taken up extreme sports or started secretly listening to R&B.
So perhaps this isn’t a midlife crisis – it’s the bit that comes before. In order to desperately attempt to recapture lost youth, you first have to lose it. Shedding the accoutrements of the young could be what the early-late-twenties were invented for.
But then we’ve just gone and got a PlayStation 2.